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Beatles
The Full Moon Recordings

The moon has inspired many memorable moments in rock music, but the effect of the full moon upon the creative experience has been overlooked too long. Some artists though, have realised this influence, like Gong, who consciously recorded several of their songs during a full moon, while others have remained ignorant. Running a café, we know only too well what a falling moon can do to a cake in the oven, and we all know that the attraction of the moon causes the high and low tides. And these incredible powers are not supposed to influence the high and low tides in our small (compared to the sea) brains? Think again!

To prove our point, we have traced the recording sessions of the Beatles, finding which tracks was recorded during a full moon. Coincidently, this resulted in a list of just enough tracks to fill your next personal party compilation tape, guaranteed to make a lasting impression on your friends:

title

Little Child
And I Love Her
Tell Me Why
If I Fell
Yes It Is
I've Just Seen A Face
I'm Down
Yesterday
Lovely Rita
Revolution
Not Guilty
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Something
released on

With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night
Ticket To Ride (b-side) [1]
Help!
Help! (b-side) [1]
Help!
Sgt Peppers Lonely H.C.B.
Hey Jude (b-side) [2]
unreleased [3]
"White Album"
Abbey Road
recording date

October 3rd
February 27th
February 27th
February 27th
February 16th
June 14th
June 14th
June 14th
February 24th
July 10th
August 8th
September 6th
May 2nd
year

1963
1964
1964
1964
1965
1965
1965
1965
1967
1968
1968
1968
1969
rel

LP
LP
LP
LP
7"
LP
7"
LP
LP
7"
CD
LP
LP

  1. Yes It Is and I'm Down was later relased on Past Masters Volume One (1988) and both are also included on Anthology II (1996).
  2. Revolution was later released on Past Masters Volume Two.
  3. Not Guilty from the "White Album" sessions is included on Anthology III (1996).
As the recording process became more advanced, a song was seldom finished in one day, but the songs on this list have either most of their tracks recorded on the day mentioned, or a very important part:
  • All the songs recorded before 1966 are all full-fledged full moon recordings, with all tracks recorded on the mentioned day, and no later overdubs. The fact that Yesterday was recorded in just two takes on that Monday afternoon, only emphazises that this must have been a very special day!
  • Several of Lovely Rita's basic tracks was recorded on February 23rd, but Paul's lead vocals was added on the 24th. Miscellaneous overdubs done on March 7th & 21st.
  • Revolution is the "single version", originally released only as the b-side to Hey Jude and not featured on the "White Album". Overdubs was done to this track the two following days, July 11th (electric piano, bass) and 12th (John added another lead guitar and Paul superimosed another bass part; it's only rock'n'roll!)
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps was recorded (and overdubbed) between July 25th and September 6th, but it was on this last night (only) that Eric Clapton layed down his famous guitar part.
  • Overdubs to Something was done on May 5th (Paul's bass and George's "Leslie'd" guitar part), July 11th (George's lead vocal), July 16th (handclapping, lead vocals again and Paul's backing vocals) and finally August 15th (strings). Which leaves us with a good full moon drum part ..

John also compiled many sound effects for Revolution 9 (from the "White Album") on the full moon afternoon of June 10th 1968, but because of several later overdubs, we have chosen not to include it in our list.

Copyright © 1996 Knut Tore Breivik e-mail address

Source: Mark Lewisohn: The Beatles Recording Sessions (1988 by The Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd.)

You may also want to check out our Beatles articles/reviews: Abbey Road, Let It Be... Naked, Love Me Do/PS I Love You, Love, Revolver, Rubber Soul and more ..., Rubber Soul and more...., Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, She Loves You, Strawberry Fields Forever b/w Penny Lane.

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